American Dustin Porier surprised many mixed martial arts (MMA) fans by defeating Conor McGregor of Ireland.
The lightweight bout topped the UFC 257 tournament at “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi and ended with the American winning by TKO in the second round.
Previously, Porier and McGregor met in 2014, and the fight ended with the Irishman winning by TKO in the second minute. In this fight, Porrier was able to withstand the attacks of his opponent at the end of the first round, and in the second five-minute fight the American “hooked” McGregor, and then finished his opponent without any problems. The Irishman needed time to recover from the knockout after stopping the fight.
Immediately after the fight, McGregor said he would continue his career. “I’ve had downtime without fighting. The big problem for me in this fight was low-kicks. Will you see me in action in 2021? Of course, I have to stay active. Right now I want to spend time with my family, recover, analyze my mistakes and come back,” said the Irishman.
Confirming his words about painful low-kicks was the fact that McGregor came to the press conference with a crutch.
Was Nurmagomedov impressed with Porrier’s victory?
McGregor last stepped into the Octagon last January and knocked out American Donald Cerrone. Porrier’s previous fight was in late June when he defeated New Zealander Dan Hooker by unanimous decision. McGregor, 32, a former two-fight UFC champion, has 22 wins and five losses, while former UFC lightweight belt holder Porier, 32, has 27 wins and six losses.
According to bookmakers and an overwhelming number of experts, McGregor was the clear favorite for the clash, a spectacular victory in which could theoretically allow the Irishman to achieve a rematch with current UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. These fighters met in 2018 when the Russian won an early victory.
Immediately after the unexpected announcement of the undefeated Nurmagomedov’s career end, speculation began about his possible return. In particular, the head of UFC Dane White said last week that the UFC 257 tournament could really make the Russian change his mind. That said, Nurmagomedov has always insisted in public speeches. It is noteworthy that both McGregor and Porier were defeated by Nurmagomedov in their penultimate fights.
Already after the Abu Dhabi tournament, White spoke about his conversation with Nurmagomedov.
“I did talk to Khabib. He told me, ‘Dana, I’m going to be honest with myself. I’m many levels above these guys, I would beat all these guys.’ That doesn’t sound very positive. We’ll see,” the head of the UFC stated. – I’ll talk to Khabib and see if he wants to defend his title. If not, I’m not going to put any more pressure on him.” Khabib himself published a post on Instagram with words of gratitude to White.
Nurmagomedov also published a Twitter post criticizing McGregor: “This is what happens when you change teams, sparring partners who made you a champion, and you spar with little kids, disconnected from reality.”
Porier, who received a $50,000 bonus for “Performance of the Night,” commented on his performance, “I’m happy to get the win. McGregor is a professional, he took this result with dignity. I have nothing but respect for him. It’s a great win. Now I’m going to go home and do my foundation. The main objective was not to get into a fight but to throw accentuated punches. If Khabib doesn’t come back, that fight was essentially a title fight for me.” Also, the American has not ruled out the possibility of a third fight with McGregor.
In the co-main event of the show, American lightweight Michael Chandler defeated New Zealander Dan Hooker in the first round before challenging Nurmagomedov: “Khabib, if you see fit to grace us with your presence here in the octagon in your quest for 30-0, you have to beat somebody. So beat me if you can.”